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Foreign investors eye water sector

Potential investors have expressed an interest in pumping in more than US$2 billion in water infrastructure development projects including construction of dams, but are insisting on projects that will ensure a return on their investment, a senior government official has said.

Wongai Zhangazha

Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate Prince Mupazviriho told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that following the country’s hosting of a water fundraising summit in June, a number of investors had made inquiries and showed interest in partnering government in the projects.

Zimbabwe has several water projects which have been on the cards for a long time, among them the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project and the construction of Kunzvi and Musami dams. Kunzvi and Musami dams have priority status and require US$865 million.

Other dams which government plans to build include Chitungwiza’s Muda-Nyatsime Dam (US$231 million), Chisumbanje’s Kondo Dam (US$480 million), Mutoko’s Nyatana Dam (US$350 million) and Kadoma’s Kudu Dam (US$350 million).

“The water investment conference was meant to attract investors to partner government in investing in the water sector. The response was good. We are getting many expressions of interest and what is important is the people who would want to invest in the projects want to invest in projects that are viable. Viable here means projects which can supply water while bringing a return on investment,” he said. “However, I cannot list possible investors at the moment, but the expressions of interest we got at the conference were over US$2 billion and we are making follow-ups.”

The Independent, however, understands that one of the potential investors is South Africa’s Development Bank of Southern Africa, which has an interest in Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam, among others.

Mupazviriho said due to climate change and differences in the country’s rainfall patterns, there was need to invest in water.

“Investing in water means creating new sources of water, creating new dams, new conveyance systems and new treatment plants and to do that government alone cannot raise the money. We need to bring on board investors.”

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